RC 75 – Garstang Rugby Union Football Club

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Garstang Rugby Union Football Club

Garstang RUFC is a fine example of the important role a club can play in its local community with a thriving social side helping to cement a one club mentality. Chairman Dave Bosson recently took the time to tell us more about the club and the work they’ve been doing lately.  

Involvement 

“I have been involved with the club since it was formed over 20 years ago. I saw an advert for willing recruits to form a rugby club. Garstang never had a Rugby Club as the main sports in the Town were predominantly Cricket and Football. My brother Adrian had decided to join and I thought why not give it ago. I had played rugby at School and had some experience albeit 10 years previously. I was drawn to club as it’s offered a chance to play a sport I enjoyed, get fit, make new friends and have fun both on and off the pitch.”

The Role 

“I work away from home Monday to Thursday, so with what little free time I do get, I like to spend quality time with the family, playing sport and fulfil my role as Chairman of the Rugby Club. This is proving to be quite a Challenge keeping a balance between family/personal life and the Rugby Club. 

What gives me the greatest reward is seeing all the members getting on so well and mixing well both on and off the pitch and integrating into the local community. I like to think of Garstang Rugby Club as a very friendly Club which welcomes all new comers.” 

Goals 

“As Club Chairman, I have set myself some challenging goals for my tenure – the first is seeing through to completion the building of a new set of changing rooms. Garstang RUFC share a Sports and Social Club with the local Cricket, Football, Tennis, Running and Canoe Club. The club is too small to accommodate all the different clubs and there is a joint planning application for a new set of changing rooms which will free up more space in the function/bar area. A project of this scale involving so many different clubs who all have their own agenda / requirements need to be managed carefully to ensure all parties are satisfied. 

The 2nd goal I have set for myself is to secure a 3rd pitch for the junior/ladies team to play and it will take the pressure off the two existing pitches which do get over used due to being used Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday (juniors in the morning and the ladies in the afternoon).” 

Atmosphere 

“The mood down at the Club is always buoyant. I like to think that all the different sections within the club get on and mix well. All the different sections of the Club get on harmoniously and support each other where possible. 

The 1st team are moving league due to restructuring of the leagues and are joining a new South Lancs/Cheshire league. The 2nd team turn out week on week under the helm of Martin Hindle who does a great job getting the best out of his squad through leading by example.  

The ladies Team just keep getting better and better and keep making steady progress. They are an inspiration and credit to the Club. The junior section keeps going from strength to strength, so much so that we have our first Colts team which is a credit to Bert Cross and the rest of the coaching team.  

Our Club veterans team ‘The Viagrians’ only play the occasional match but the numbers of eligible members just keep growing and it now boasts over 40 members. Bob Johnston (past president) and Club legend instigated the veterans team and must take credit for the most outlandish attire the viagrians must wear when on tour. A Cravat, Panama hat and pipe are mandatory at all times (except when playing a game).”  

Last Season 

“The season for the club has gone well, the men’s senior first team stayed up and finished mid table. The seconds also had a steady season finishing mid table. The ladies team had a wonderful season and finished 3rd in only their 2nd full season in the league. Garstang boasts a thriving junior section where we have full year groups from 6 to 16/colts. The juniors play against most local sides including many tournaments and keep progressing through a domination of great coaches, enthusiasm and playing for each other. In summary, from an overall perspective, the season has been the best ever.” 

2017 

“My plans for the club for the rest of 2017 are simple – keep the momentum going. The Club keeps expanding and consequently the number of players/members keep growing, which is a great indication that the Club is moving in the right direction. The Club has gained the majority of these through the addition of the ladies team and the large junior section.   

The 1st team have worked hard to play Level 8 Rugby and are looking forward to next season under the guidance of Gavin Barton, Simon Whittingham and Ainsley Pye. The men’s second team play in the Raging Bull league and always put in commendable performance and were unlucky to lose to Fylde last season in the cup final.” 

Youth 

“Youth rugby is key to the success of any club but to a relatively new club like Garstang it is vital. The contribution of people like Ian Davies who started the junior section which was then taken to the next level through the efforts of Bert Cross and Rob Kerr who started running Rugby Summer camps and engaging with local schools has been critical to the overall progress of the club.   

The Junior section is a credit to all involved, especially the coaches and parents and volunteer helpers in the kitchen. The goal has always been to have a colts team and Garstang have now got their very first colts team which is entering the colts league this season. It is hoped that the colts will provide the new players to support the club for the foreseeable future.” 

Integration 

“The aim is to have a sustainable future with a steady feed of colts into the senior sections. To encourage this transition, the club has started to introduce the two sections (men senior/colts) to each other. For the last couple of seasons, we have been running summer touch rugby sessions which have had the older junior section playing with the seniors. The touch Rugby has enabled the two groups to play together in a safe environment where they can share knowledge and exchange some Banter (nothing like seeing a young lad side stepping the first team prop, and listening to the “feedback from his peers”).  

At this stage in the colts development programme, we are in a situation where the Colts and seniors are familiar with each other, with Colts desperate to play for the seniors and the seniors also keen for the colts to step up and play at the higher level.”   

Community 

“Garstang is a small market town and Garstang RUFC plays a big part in the local community. The majority of players originate from the local area and the junior teams are also made up from schools from the local area. The club has a thriving social section and organise regular events in the Town throughout the year. We also hold an annual Summer fun day where everyone is welcome and both adults and children have a great time regardless of the weather.” 

Challenges/Ambitions 

“The biggest challenge for any club is to attract new players and player retention. A successful junior section is key to attaining this goal. We are looking at starting a junior ladies team as there are none in the area and without a ladies junior section it’s difficult to sustain a senior ladies team for the long term. The intention is to engage with local primary/secondary schools to gauge interest and look into the possibility of setting up a new junior ladies section. 
The club’s ambition is for our teams to keep progressing within their respective leagues. It is hoped that through attaining a successful Junior/Youth Section the Club will potentially gain a 3rd Team which will support the 1st/2nds. The Club is also looking at finding ways to attract more ladies to the Club in an effort to sustain the ladies squad.”   

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